With a broad smile, he opened up the shipping container, its heavy metal doors groaning as he did so. He fully understood the risk he was taking, the chance of finding something worth anything wasn’t in his favor, especially when he thought about what the last guy ended up getting.
He sorted through heaps of trash, nothing so far had made the amount of money he paid worth it. He was beginning to feel nervous until he saw a case, he pried it open and couldn’t believe what was inside.
Barely Contain His Excitement
The Magnum Storage Auction, this was a place that Danny Owens wanted to have a look at right on the edge of town. He was from Coulby Newham, UK, and tried his best to provide for his child as a father of one. He watched all the reality TV shows about these auctions and now he felt he was ready to try his luck on a container.
The 26-year-old could barely contain his excitement, he was really looking forward to the day, but someone had other plans.
Taking A Day Off
Owens was working as a full-time trader and had been waiting for a chance to go to the auction for months, today was finally the day. He had a day off and he even made sure his schedule was clear.
But as he arrived in the parking lot of the auction, he felt something buzzing in his pocket, he took out his phone and saw the name. It was the worst client that he could think of, now his day off could be taken from him.
Danny heard the worst news he could have thought of, the client needed him to file a report immediately. Danny wouldn’t be able to do this over the phone.
He could hear in the tone of the client’s voice that it was serious. So Danny started to walk back to his car when he had an idea. If he made a particular phone call, he might be able to enjoy his day off yet.
Help From A Friend
Danny dialed the number on his phone, the man picked up, it was a freelancer. Danny asked if he could get the report done while he could enjoy his day off. Thankfully, the freelancer was more than happy to help out.
The only catch was that the freelancer wasn’t the cheapest option, a last-minute phone call like that meant that his rate was inflated. Danny had to bite the bullet and hope what he would find would make up for it.
Back To The Auction
Danny felt like the extra money was worth his freedom for the day. After agreeing to the rate that the freelancer would charge, he felt better, now he could relax and continue to the auction.
As Danny walked through into the auction, his mind flooded with all the possibilities inside the containers. He was thinking about all the things that could be hidden inside – historical artifacts, something ancient, maybe even priceless art? Either way, he was going to find out soon enough.
After Danny had looked over the place a little, he felt his stomach growl, he was hungry. He thought that maybe they had a food stand somewhere around. Then he bumped into some familiar faces.
He saw his friends, Michael Gouder and Anthony Frankish having a conversation. Danny was puzzled, why were they here? It couldn’t be a coincidence, could it? Maybe they found out where he was going today.
The truth was that they all happened to be on the same brainwave and came to the auction. The three stood together at the back of the crowd, they wanted to see how these worked in real life so they watched as the first people started bidding. The men had watched plenty of reality TV about this but never had they done it before.
After the bidding war on the first container was over it was opened up right in front of them. Everyone crowded around to see what had just been bought. Would the first bidder walk away with a fortune or have thrown their money down the drain?
The man that outbid the competition had paid $120 dollars for the container, everyone could see that it was packed with a lot of invaluable items.
Danny felt a knot in his stomach, had he just let the best container of the auction get away? He thought about leaving he was so upset. But when they started the bid on the next container, something in his mind told him to stay.
After the second container was sold Danny felt better again, he was getting the hang of this and he enjoyed the company of his friends. It was a nice day out for all of them.
The friends thought that now they were prepared to start bidding on the containers. They all looked at the next one and knew they wanted it. But no one expected that they would be bidding against each other for it.
Tensions rose as the three men realized they were trying to out-bid each other. The competition between them started to grow and the friendly vibe they’d enjoyed all morning started to turn sour.
Then Danny asked himself, why were they working against each other when they could pool their cash and wipe the grins off the faces of all the seasoned bidders?
After a few low-value containers were sold to disappointed bidders, Danny and his friends agreed they wanted to play at the high-stakes table. If they wanted to win against all these other bidders for this next container, they would need to change up their strategy and take a few more risks.
Danny pictured himself opening up a crate and discovering a treasure chest filled with gold or an antique that would need to be insured for millions. Things were about to get interesting.
Teaming up, the fortune hunters laid out their new tactic. Instead of placing bids separately, they would do it together. AS the next container was lowered into the lot, they were confident about their chances of walking away as winners just like they’d seen on TV.
The next container was announced and the men dove straight in: $80, $100, $150, $200, $250. Their bids rose dramatically as their nerves followed suit. $300, $310, $320, $330, $335…
They did it! Danny and his friends congratulated each other as they collected the container key from the auctioneer. There was no way of knowing what was inside. Not even the auctioneer himself knew.
Danny felt confident. But then he remembered an episode of ‘Storage Wars’ that suddenly had him sweating. Was he destined to suffer the same fate?
The episode in question saw a bidder lay down a large sum of cash – exactly the same amount that Danny and his friends had just shelled out.
And it was a complete waste of money. Did Danny just pay $110 for a container of trash? He was suddenly aware of how high the stakes were. Beads of sweat started to form on his forehead as he approached the mysterious container.
Bracing himself, Danny walked up to the big blue container. As he pulled open the heavy doors, he prayed to the goddess of days off for a good result.
Danny worked too many long hours to have spent his hard-earned cash on garbage. There had to be at least one thing of value inside. Hadn’t there?
As the light crept into the mysterious container, and its contents slowly came into focus, Danny didn’t know where to look.
Danny and his new team stepped inside – and were greeted by nothing but ordinary items. Lamps, shelves, books… nothing they could retire on. Danny walked out deflated. But Michael kept digging. He just had a feeling there was something inside that container that would make the whole thing worthwhile.
“Look at this!” exclaimed Michael, brandishing an ordinary-looking case at his two partners. Danny peered over Michael’s shoulder as he opened it.
It was silverware. “Could be worth something,” said Michael, optimistically. Then Anthony pulled out a bottle of vintage French wine, dating back to the 1940s. Shortly after, Danny came across a hand-written court log from the 1720s. Once they’d gone through everything in the container, one thing was abundantly clear to the trio.
“We’ve easily made our money back straight away, and there’s loads more stuff still to be appraised so it should be good when it’s all gone,” said Danny, pleased that it was worth the investment to pay the freelancer to cover him for the day.
The actual value on their finds depends on the results of their upcoming appraisal, but the trio learned something far more valuable.
A Day Well Spent
Trying something new is not a bad way to spend a day off. Danny and his friends not only walked away from their first foray into the world of storage auctioning as winners, but they also found a fun new hobby they can do together.
They have even earned some fame along the way. Maybe another group of friends will be as lucky!